Situational betting: A system that works

People always ask me about betting systems, and the fact is that most of them are complete cobblers. Either that, or they’re so complicated that the average joe on the street has no idea how to handle these mathematical calculations. What we use here at Free Bet Bookmaker is a system that we’ve concocted ourselves. It doesn’t involve much maths, it doesn't even involve taking advantage of bookies offers, it just involves a little thought, and a lot of patience.

What you’ll find in sport is that there are patterns. Everywhere. Some people call them quirks, but they’re not – there are endless reasons for these patterns that keep appearing over and over.

We’ve done a very corporate thing, and created a quadrant, with low and high reward on one axis, and low and high risk on the other.

What we do with this little quadrant is we start populating it with “situations”. An example of a situation could be:

Football: Home side with good home form vs Away side with poor away form

This situation is clearly low risk, low reward – the odds will be short, and unless there are other mitigating factors, it should be regarded as a ‘banker’. So, if we use a website like, we can start to pick out teams all around the world whose home form is good, who are playing at home against a side whose away form is poor.

Football: Away side has won last 5 visits to the home side

The information is out there, so go and get it before you place your bets. You’ll be able to start mining the data to find out which away sides are regularly picking up points – perhaps against form and status. Quirks like this happen in every sport, and you can expect high reward from these relatively low-risk bets. The question is, to what extent are you willing to risk your money against the bookmaker?

Football: New manager steps in for first game at a struggling club

Very often, struggling teams don’t just struggle because they’re rubbish – they struggle because their morale is low. Or because their manager is rubbish. Or both. Either way, a new manager often provides a lift to a struggling team, which results in at least one – sometimes several – games that go against form. In fact, some experts claim it can take up to 5 games before normal service is resumed, and the side continues to struggle. This would be of medium risk, but high reward, as bookmakers rarely base their judgement on an unknown quantum such as morale.

Other quirks can be found – it’s really up to you. Whether it’s patterns such as a centre-forward regularly scoring against a particular club, or red cards appearing whenever two teams meet, there is money to be made from developing an understanding of common trends and backing them – you will stay one step ahead of the bookies!

Baseball: Number 1 pitcher vs Number 3 pitcher

Baseball is one of the most over-analysed sports in the world. The Americans do tend to overkill their statistics, and it’s a little-known fact that most baseball statisticians have never watched a game. They study the statistics for the love of it. Strange people. That said, their research has enabled a levelling-out of the playing field that few would have imagined possible, leading to the Moneyball exploits of the Oakland Athletics, and later, the Boston Red Sox under Theo Epstein. That’s why you should always look into Baseball stats before making an educated decision – and who is pitching is a good place to start.

Usually, you’ll find the top two pitchers going up against each other, but every now and again, you’ll see a club’s number one pitcher facing someone of infinitely less stature. Low risk, medium return – especially if you find an unfancied club.

There are a host of other pitching stats out there, such as a pitcher’s record against left-handed batters, which you can use to your advantage. Find the situation, mark it down on your quadrant, and load your betting appropriately.

Horse racing – this horse can’t keep winning

Over the years, I’ve tracked winning streaks, and they almost always come to an end one way or another. With the exception of exceptional horses such as Sea The Stars and Frankel, most horses will have a run of form that brings their odds tumbling down. This is especially true over shorter distances, where horses run more often.

Laying them at the right time is up to you, but the bookies are always trying to minimise their risk by shortening the odds against an in-form horse. Find the quirk, and find the event that fits.

Fill up your quadrant as you go along, finding the patterns and waiting for the event that fits. You could set yourself up some Google alerts, use a service like or just take a keen interest in one particular team and bet on them alone.

Whatever situations you fit into your quadrant, it will help you decide which bets to take on, and how to reduce your potential losses in certain periods. You can give yourself a selection of bankers and match them against some higher risk bets. No maths involved – just common-sense and patience. Try it out with the Paddy Power free bet which doubles your first stake. Good luck to you!

published: 21st November 2011 by Free Bet Bookmaker


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